Whether you own an RV or prefer to rent an RV for a Canadian vacation, knowing how to get WiFi in an RV to connect to the internet can be a challenge. Depending on where you choose to travel, you may spend days without a Wi-Fi or cellular signal.
Getting WiFi in an RV opens up new opportunities for you and your family, including keeping connected to loved ones while out of town, or being able to work from wherever you may be camped. But how do you get started? What are your internet options? The short answer: There are many ways to get internet on an RV trip, from Wi-Fi hotspots to satellite Internet providers, so you can stay connected wherever you roam! Here’s how to get WiFi in an RV!
Enjoying WiFi connectivity in an RV
Free Internet Access and Public WiFi
Canada has free WiFi all over the country, so you can easily get online anywhere you go, as long as you know where to look! Whether you're travelling through the urban sprawl of Toronto or chilling out in the Great White North, you'll find free WiFi hotspots in many of Canada’s most popular stores, cities, towns, and parks.
It's true that you're more likely to find free WiFi in larger cities, simply because larger cities have more retail stores and outlets offering free WiFi. If you're a person who likes to take Netflix with you on the move, consider planning ahead and downloading your favourite movies or TV shows before you leave home. If that's not feasible, you may be able to download content along your travel route when you have access to free public WiFi. In Canada, Walmart and Tim Hortons are two stores we know of with good WiFi connectivity where you may be able to download content to watch offline later in your RV.
Many stores, libraries, coffee shops, parks and cities have free WiFi availability
On a recent cross-Canada trip, we were amazed at how often we were able to freedom camp close to public WiFi, enabling us to use free WiFi from the comfort of our RV. Whilst in most cases, this didn't include streaming, we were able to check our social networks and send and receive emails with no difficulty.
Most private campground operators and RV Parks also offer free WiFi for their Guests, although the signal can often be weak or the bandwidth patchy. If you're looking to use campground WiFi, try getting as close to the source as possible.
Parks Canada began rolling out WiFi in national parks in 2014 and today many Parks offer WiFi in or near campgrounds.
Use your Smartphone as a Mobile Hotspot
Not only can your smartphone keep you entertained, it can also do some other nifty tricks too – such as act as your own personal mobile hotspot. This allows you to use your phone’s 4G lte data plan to share an internet connection with other devices, whether it’s your laptop or your tablet or something else entirely. It takes just a few minutes to set up, and once it’s done, you can access the internet from any place cellular connectivity is available. You just need to download an app onto your smartphone that supports this function and create an account with an internet provider that offers hotspot functionality.
Before you download the first app that pops up in your search results though, look at public reviews and choose one of the more popular and robust apps that will let you use your smartphone as a mobile hotspot.
Just remember that since these apps add functionality to your phone, they’ll drain its battery faster than normal!
Use your Smartphone to connect to the internet
Cellular data plans are offered by most major carriers in North America and allow you to connect up to five devices at once. The primary benefit of using cellular data is that it allows for high-speed internet access wherever there is cell phone coverage—which means pretty much anywhere in North America. Downside? It’s expensive and requires you to have a contract with the carrier, which may not be feasible if you are a visitor to Canada.
Buy or Rent a Portable Mobile Hot Spot Device
A mobile hotspot is a pocket-sized mobile router that creates a WiFi network, allowing multiple devices to connect to the internet. It's a great option for people who need internet access while they are on vacation in an RV.
There are a few different types of mobile hotspots available. The most common type is a USB modem, which plugs into your computer's USB port. You can also buy or rent a mobile hotspot that uses cellular data. This type of hotspot connects to the internet through a cell phone carrier.
When you rent an RV from CanaDream RV Rentals, you'll be offered the opportunity to rent a Skyroam Solis WiFi Hotspot device as an optional add-on. As with all portable mobile hot spot devices, you'll have WiFi on the go as you travel, provided the area you are in has cellular coverage. CanaDream has partnered with TELUS to enable you to enjoy WiFi in an RV. TELUS provides Guests with data plans for the Solis device, ranging from Pay by the Gig to monthly passes which include an unlimited data plan (speeds may be reduced after high speed cap is reached).
CanaDream Guests can rent a Skyroam Solis portable hotspot for their RV vacation
The Skyroam Solis WiFi hotspot has a built-in battery with 16+ hours of battery life. The Solis provides an encrypted connection for up to 10 devices and supports multiple languages. Streaming is possible, however data usage will be high. According to Netflix, you use between 1GB and 3GB an hour of data to stream videos in HD.
So, we've covered free WiFi, and Hot Spots, but what's available if you're travelling in remote areas where there is no cellular service? This is where you might want to consider renting or buying a satellite phone.
Satellite service is similar to cellular service in that it uses radio waves to transmit information from one point to another—but instead of bouncing those waves off towers placed throughout populated areas, they bounce them off satellites orbiting the Earth. If your travels will take you to remote locations, away from cell service, satellite phones offer reliable and easy communications. While there are many advantages to having a satellite phone, they are an expensive option when compared to your cellphone or a portable mobile Hotspot for internet connectivity.
Where no cell signal is available, it may be possible to use a satellite phone to get internet in an RV
By now, you’ll have realized that staying connected while you are on the road, whether you're full time RVers or holidaying with family, can be as easy or as hard as you choose it to be. You may want to chill out completely, without any connection to the digital world, or you may want to bring all the conveniences of home with you. With a combination of ways to keep in touch while road tripping in Canada, there’s bound to be an option that’s right for you to get WiFi in an RV.
CanaDream has seven locations specializing in RV Rentals in Canada. From small motorhome hire to large C class RVs sleeping up to seven people, these RVs are top of the line and custom manufactured for Canadian conditions. If you would like a free, no obligation quote for an RV rental in Canada, you can reach us by email at email@example.com, phone us, or check out pricing and availability on our website at canadream.com.